Bianchi takes commanding win
Jules Bianchi took a dominant maiden victory in the opening Formula Renault 3.5 race at the Nurburgring.
The Ferrari junior driver led the race from start to finish for Tech 1, getting the gap up to nearly 10 seconds by the end ahead of second place finisher Nico Muller.
Draco driver Muller, who leapt from fourth to second at the start, kept Bianchi honest in the early laps as he sat on his tail, but once the leader picked the pace up nobody could live with him.
While Bianchi put in a sequence of fastest laps, Muller had to turn his attentions to defending his position from championship contender Robin Frijns (Fortec). The Dutchman dropped back for a few laps in the middle of the race, but he was right on Muller's tail by the finish as the Swiss driver's pace started to fade.
Frijns was also coming under pressure in the closing stages, as Arthur Pic took chunks out of the gap to the third place man. The DAMS car seemed to get stronger as the race went on, but he just ran out of time to mount a proper attack for a podium place.
Behind the tight battle for second, Danes Kevin Magnussen (Carlin) and Marco Sorensen (Lotus) completed the top six. Sorensen pulled off one of the few passing moves in the top half of the field, when he stole sixth from P1's Walter Grubmuller at the start of lap two.
Sam Bird, who went into the race as championship leader, mounted his own attack on Grubmuller in the laps that followed, but he eventually dropped back a little from the Austrian and had to settle for eighth for ISR.
Series newcomer Antonio Felix da Costa (Arden Caterham) marked his debut as a Red Bull junior with a points finish in ninth, while Carlin's Will Stevens inherited the final point when Carlos Huertas (Fortec) and Cesar Ramos (Lotus) collided as the latter tried to pass for 10th around the outside of Turn 1 on the penultimate lap.